New York’s Fire Island Bans Nude Sunbathing

nude beach 2A longtime vacation mecca for New York’s gay community is ordering folks to cover up: Park officials on Fire Island have announced nude sunbathing will not be tolerated when the season begins later this spring.

There has been a ban on public nudity on the 32-mile-long barrier island for decades, but its been widely ignored.

But that’s changed in the wake of complaints about public sex, masturbation, prostitution and even assault. Additionally, super-storm Sandy wiped out a lot of the island’s dunes, which offered a measure of privacy.

“We’ve been struggling to make it work because Fire Island has a history of that type of use and people have been coming there for years,” Fire Island chief ranger Koschmann told Newsday. “The more we talked about it and researched it, the more we realized that that use wasn’t compatible with an area like Lighthouse Beach.”


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  • TO

    First the sale, then FI Pines tries to be all fancy and something it is not, then the fire, then Sandy and now this? Really? Did officials and park rangers not have nothing more important to worry about? Why not just rip the DNA of what makes gay Fire Island what it is right out of it. I’m not old guard or a long time resident, I’m mid 30’s and have been going out on and off for 15 years. In the Pines, and when you walk btw the Grove and the Pines, it’s what you encounter and part of the reason gay and even a few straight people go there. This will not fly or it will hurt the summer tourist season even more. They need the money post fire / Sandy and this is in the lead for dumbest choice of the week.

  • QJ201

    Next they’ll be coming for the meatrack…and then after that they’ll ban nude sunbathing on private property because sightseers in small planes can see you.

    I feel a big “FU” nude demonstration coming on.

  • Chad Hunt

    I don’t know where this site gets the misinformation that it receives but for the past 10-15 years that I have gone to Fire Island if the Suffolk County police drove along the beach and saw you nude they would ticket you. The rule has not been ignored by police but has been by people who simply throw a towel over themselves when the police drive by. Luckily for the guyss that go to the “Meat Rack” I don’t think they can get a truck back there but wouldn’t be surprised to see atv’s or police on foot.

  • tommyk

    in san fransico i sunbathed in the nude on beaches(2) that allowed it..the mounted police would trot by on their rounds…in mexico i did the same…living in san fransico i got so use to it that it was not even novel..there were families,kids,it was a wonderful feeling..and it wasn’t just guys working out and looking was all types…i don’t know if that has changed???…it is strange that social freedoms like nudity change like this. it is always and should be a big concern when a society becomes more conservative,esp for no good reason.(however here there might be some?) it is natural to progress toward increased freedoms in a free society. when the opposite happens there should be really good reasons…so the real question is…were the boys misbehaving? those horrid sexual “things” always happened,why are they becomming so much more public/ or seen by people who might complain rather than ignore or watch?…the storm is one thing..changing the lanscape makes a differance,but the other…i wish there was more to the story…

  • laurentusa

    This applies only for the Lighthouse Beach “Nude sunbathing on other parts of the island not controlled by the Park Service was expected continue.”

  • viveutvivas

    Yet another casualty of gentrification.

  • morgan riggs

    I do not understand why Americans are such prudes about the human body. Women not allowed to be topless at the beach because its lewd, whats that about? We need to get over ourselves and come to grips that under our clothing we are all naked….

  • Daniel-Reader

    Considering the obesity rates in the USA, the ban should not apply to in-shape people to reward them for actually exercising and eating nutritionally-sound meals.

  • Pete

    seeing as most of the people who show it all in The Pines should actually be wearing wet suits, I’m actually sorta in favor of it. leather-tanned daddies with stretch marks are enough to make me straight!

  • Pete

    just so long as they don’t try to ban skinny-dipping at night, lol!

  • Faggot

    @tommyk: Where in México can one sunbathe absolutely naked? I have traveled extensively in México and have not been able to find nude sunbathers. Please tell us where these beaches are. Thank you.

    Fire Island. This article speaks mostly of an area known as Lighthouse Beach.

    The primarily gay communities of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines are significantly east of Lighthouse Beach, but chief park ranger Lena Koschmann said that the ban will be enforced across the island, including the traditionally nude stretch between Cherry Grove and the Pines.

    Violation of the code is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and a maximum of six months in prison.

  • Faggot

    @morgan riggs: Americans?!

    Please tell us which countries have no problem with bottomless sunbathing (for both sexes).

    Straight men love boobs to be on display (did you see this year’s Oscars?), but do not like looking at the vagina or the penis on the silver screen or on beaches either.

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